Kopka’s winning project, “Building Teams in the Trees,” is designed to get students out into nature and become physically active. Mercer is Wisconsin’s smallest public school with a kindergarten through 12th-grade population. Many of the school’s students receive free or reduced lunch and come from economically disadvantaged homes. This project affords physics students an opportunity to design and create a challenge obstacle course on campus. While learning the different concepts of physics, students will design obstacles such as rope, rock and log challenges that will be used in team building activities. Students will incorporate the laws of physics and the use of technology to complete the project. This real-world application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) will help students gain a better understanding of the physics concepts they are learning. Kopka also hopes that as students work together in teams to complete the course challenges, they will foster respect for one another which will, in turn, decrease bullying and violence on campus. Kopka resides in Butternut.